The Migrant Issue
While the current administration in the White House tries to stop the flow across the southern border moving northward, there are estimates of US citizens living in Mexico that far outreach the numbers flowing to the north.
It’s not only people retiring and moving to where the palm trees sway. Tech workers are a good example of the younger set living in Mexico. Here in Puerto Vallarta, we have many US-born kids who have returned to Mexico with their undocumented parents; the estimate of these children living in Mexico exceeds 600,000 at this point in time, with likely more to come. The migration of people heading south is larger than that of those headed to northern climes, including refugees. The US embassy in Mexico estimates a million and a half US born citizens living in Mexico are not farfetched, with nearly 40,000 of those living in Puerto Vallarta.
There was a time when San Miguel de Allende was the expat haven for Canadians and US citizens, with 10% of the population English speaking. Though San Miguel is still a big attraction, coastal towns have become very appealing. New arrivals are welcomed with open arms in places like Puerto Vallarta, where they help to drive the local economy, and fill schools with students and the teachers to accommodate them.
Whereas there is a huge Mexican community in the United States, we now see a mirrored affect, that of a large and growing North American community throughout Mexico. Mexico has always had a very open immigration policy and invites members of all nations.
Amazon now has headquarters in Mexico, so anything you can’t find locally, you can order online. This is the result of Mexico filling the needs of immigrants, many of whom remain undocumented. It’s a well known fact that tourists come to Puerto Vallarta and stay far past their 180 day tourist visa, paying a fine sometimes as small as $20 USD to come and go.
Renovations of older homes in Mexico have become the new fixer-upper mentality of many home buyers. New houses and developments have sprung up, in and around Puerto Vallarta at an eye-popping rate.
Location isn’t the only factor in many of these migration issues. The US dollar is very strong against the Mexican peso at this time and many can get by on Social Security and pensions; living in modest homes, hiring household help, and going out on the town on a regular basis. It’s not even necessary to speak Spanish, with a vast amount of people speaking excellent English, including Mexicans in Puerto Vallarta, though we do encourage you to learn the language.